Monday Nitro – January 3, 2000: Taking the Wrestling Out of Wrestling

Monday Nitro #221
Date: January 3, 2000
Location: BiLo Center, Greenville, South Carolina
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone

It’s a new year and in the best present WCW could give us, the show is back to two hours instead of the usual three. The big story this week is the rest of the Tag Team Title tournament with all the random and wacky teams and the rest of the field being filled out by regular teams who were “randomly” paired together. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last week. Why must I be forced to think of that mess again?

A jet landed at the airport today. I’d assume a lot of those land every day but for some reason this is supposed to be interesting.

Tag Team Title Tournament Quarterfinals: Harris Brothers vs. Buzzkill/Mike Rotundo

Sullivan makes Leia Meow jump on a trampoline for obvious reasons. Rotundo goes after let’s say Ron to start and eats a powerslam and clothesline for his efforts. Off to Buzzkill for a forearm, but Ron comes back with a big old side slam. It’s big enough that it almost knocks Buzzkill’s hair off. Don comes in to hammer away as Standards and Practices come out and get rid of Leia, drawing the Varsity Club out to the floor. The H Bomb ends Buzzkill in a short match.

We look back at the monster truck stuff last week which has damaged Sid’s neck.

A motorcade is leaving the airport.

There’s going to be a new commissioner tonight.

Nash thinks Tom Zenk is getting the job.

Bret arrives and gets beaten down by Sid, wearing a neck brace.

Diamond Dallas Page is ready for his match against Buff Bagwell but Curt Hennig comes up and tells him the Powers That Be want him in the ring tonight. PG-13 is in the ring right now and that’s fine with Page.

Tag Team Title Tournament Quarterfinals: PG-13 vs. Scott Steiner/Kevin Nash

Steiner is Hall’s official replacement because there are a lot of people named Scott in this company. PG-13 is in the ring doing their rap, so here’s Page to lay them both out with Diamond Cutters. Here’s the NWO with Nash dropping an elbow on Wolfie and pulling the tights for the pin. It’s going to be one of those kind of shows, but at least it’s two hours.

Here’s the NWO to complain about now getting any respect and having to be attacked by Sid. Jarrett: “Slappy New Year!” Jeff isn’t worried about Triple Threat Theater with Benoit and doesn’t have much to say about it. Nash warns the new commissioner that the NWO is going to keep breaking the rules as they always have. Steiner jokes about his retirement and thinks all his fans are Wall Street types. This actually wasn’t that bad.

The motorcade arrives.

Tag Team Title Tournament Quarterfinals: David Flair/Crowbar vs. Lash Leroux/Midnight

Lash does a cross sign at Daffney in a funny bit. The bad night continues for Lash as Midnight appearing in the ring freaks him out even more. David and Lash get things going with Stevie Ray sitting in on commentary. Flair is easily knocked around the ring because he’s just not that good. It’s off to Crowbar who eats a drop toehold to send him to the floor, only to have him slide back inside where he accidentally baseball slides David.

Stevie tells Lash to tag Midnight in and gets what he deserves, thereby lowering Lash’s sucka levels for the rest of the match. Midnight throws Lash onto Crowbar and nails a nice dropkick, only to have Stevie pull Midnight out to the floor. Cue Disco, Tony Marinara and Disco as we now have more people interfering than in the match. Booker yells at his brother and takes a Slapjack to the head as Leroux hits Whiplash on Crowbar. As the referee yells at Harlem Heat, Vito and Johnny come in and lay out Lash, giving Crowbar the pin.

Rating: D-. Here’s a spoiler for the rest of the show: this match, which ran 5:15, is the longest match on the entire show. Also, in a match just over five minutes long, six people interfered, giving us three stories (Mafia vs. Lash, Harlem Heat splitting, the match itself) in one match. I know we get on Russo for overbooking but come on man. Calm down for like a minute please.

Lash yells at Disco in the back but Disco says he has to deal with the Family, who come in and attack Lash as Disco has to look on.

Here’s Luger Luger, still dressed as Sting and yes, this is really WCW’s best idea to fight Raw. Luger talks about Sting being afraid of him and wants the no name wrestler to come out here and face him.

Total Package vs. Tank Abbott

Stalling by Luger leads into the mace from Liz for the DQ in less than a minute. But remember, Luger is a veteran and therefore still a draw.

Jerry Flynn comes out and beats up Abbott with less than no one caring.

The NWO takes their ball bats to the limo.

Rob Garner of the WCW front office comes out to talk about the “writers” “swerving” WCW and how Sting and Goldberg are currently out of commission. Therefore, let’s bring in someone new to help fight the NWO. That brings us to the new commissioner: Terry Funk. Yes, the big solution to the NWO is to bring in a guy who first retired about sixteen years earlier.

Now don’t get me wrong: Terry Funk is awesome and one of the best wrestlers and performers of all time, but this is not the right move in this spot. This needed to be someone young who could be a future for WCW, not another legend who shows up, basically in the same role as Piper.

Anyway, Funk says he loves wrestling and wants to get rid of these fat hogs at the trough. To do this, he needs an enforcer, and who better than Arn Anderson? Anderson gives his usual great speech about putting the heart back in wrestling, but the WE WANT FLAIR chants almost drown him out. Cue the NWO so Hart can offer Funk a spot on the team. Terry shrugs it off and makes some new stipulations for Hart vs. Goldberg. Wait didn’t they officially cancel that last week? It wouldn’t be the first time they lied about a match they had coming up so why not do it here too?

The match will have Arn as guest referee and the title can change hands on a DQ. As for tonight, it’s Jeff defending the US Title against Sid in a powerbomb match. Oh and Nash and Steiner will indeed get screwed in their matches tonight. Nash threatens David Flair and we’re done here.

Tag Team Title Tournament Quarterfinals: Buff Bagwell/Chris Kanyon vs. Norman Smiley/Asya

Buff and Kanyon argue over how awesome this town is because Kanyon thinks it’s not Hollywood. Kanyon offers him some champagne so Buff, the hero that he is, breaks the bottle over Kanyon’s head. That’s a great way to advance in a title tournament Buff. Norman is dressed as a mascot of the local baseball team, complete with a three foot long tail, which is shaken in Buff’s general direction.

Buff doesn’t take kindly to Norman mocking his strut and nails him with a clothesline, only to have Asya knee him in the back. We get the spanking dance from Norman before it’s off to Asya, who is quickly suplexed down by Bagwell. Everything breaks down and Asya hits Buff low, only to have Norman accidentally hit her with the mascot head. A Blockbuster sends Buff on his own (presumably) to the semifinals.

Rating: D-. Comedy ladies and gentlemen! This is what you get when you have no reason for these teams to be fighting and you just throw them together and have no chemistry or time to go anywhere. It doesn’t help that neither team even tried to do more than comedy spots to get to the ending. Couple that with Kanyon not even being in the match and what were you expecting here?

The Revolution comes in to beat up Buff, drawing down Duggan for a failed save attempt. The Filthy Animals come out for the real save.

The old guys and the NWO look for David.

Funk and Anderson find Daffney in the boiler room.

Tag Team Title Tournament Semifinals: Kevin Nash/Scott Steiner vs. Harris Brothers

You know, in a decent company, this could be a watchable power match. Again Steiner sits in on commentary and lets Nash do the match himself. The twins double team Nash until he gets a ball bat. They obviously run away from the combined force of the bat and the hair, only to have the Varsity Club come in and chair them down. Sullivan throws Don back in and Nash pins him in less than a minute and a half.

Jarrett kidnaps Daffney.

Tag Team Title Tournament Semifinals: Buff Bagwell/Chris Kanyon vs. David Flair/Crowbar

Kanyon comes out for no logical reason, only to get jumped by Bam Bam Bigelow and slammed off the stage. This brings out Vampiro, who is apparently going to be Buff’s partner whether Bagwell likes it or not. Vampiro starts with some spinning kicks to put Crowbar down but Buff tags himself in. Cue Anderson and Funk to talk to David because he’s not doing anything important right now.

Vampiro superplexes Crowbar down and Buff tells Vampiro to stay in for the finish. There’s a Ligerbomb to Crowbar but Vampiro stops to argue with Anderson because it’s the least logical thing possible right now. Funk punches Vampiro in the face and Buff adds a Blockbuster to his partner, again for no apparent reason, allowing David to get the pin to go to the finals.

Rating: F. This was a circus with the partners basically saying screw the tag belts because we want to do stupid stuff instead. I’ve completely lost track of what’s going on with Bagwell (feuding with Page I believe), Vampiro (feuding with no one that I know of) and almost everyone else in this company. The sad part: I really don’t care what they’re doing either.

The NWO drags Daffney out so Steiner can call her ugly.

Flair and Crowbar can’t find Daffney.

US Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Sid Vicious

Powerbomb match and Sid is in a neck brace. He shoves Jeff away to start and kicks away, only to have Jarrett go right for the neck. A backdrop puts the big guy on the floor and Jeff rams him into the barricade. Back in and a high cross body gets two for Jeff but Sid powers out and nails a big boot, followed by the chokeslam. The champ shoves the referee down of course and Sid hits the powerbomb, only to have Bret come in with the ball bat for the DQ.

Standard beatdown and spray painting follows.

Tag Team Titles: Kevin Nash/Scott Steiner vs. David Flair/Crowbar

Steiner and Nash clean house to start and I have no idea who to cheer for here. There’s no referee to start and Steiner sits in on commentary to say the opponents suck. Nash slams Crowbar off the top and pokes him in the eye as this has been completely one sided so far. A double noggin knocker puts Flair and Crowbar down again but here come Terry Funk and Arn Anderson in a referee shirt. Crowbar gets jackknifed as security and Funk yell at Steiner. The distraction lets Crowbar hit Nash with a crowbar, giving David the pin and the titles.

Rating: F. It’s the slip on the banana peel ending as this was just a beating until the wacky ending. In other words, Russo probably thought it was great and the wrestlers loved it too as they didn’t have to do much. This wasn’t a match and that really shouldn’t surprise me at this point.

Post match Jeff Jarrett drags Daffney to the ring as David hits Anderson with the crowbar. The new champs stumble away and the NWO swarms Funk. Bret and Jeff kidnap Anderson and throw him in the trunk of a car to end the show. The new champs were complete afterthoughts here.

Overall Rating: F. So tonight we had seven tournament matches. Those matches combined to run less than nineteen minutes, for an average of about two minutes and forty seconds each. If you take away the marathon match that ran over five minutes, you’re looking at six matches taking less than fifteen minutes combined. There were two other matches on this show: Tank Abbott in a match with literally no wrestling and a two minute powerbomb match which ended in a DQ. They’ve taken the wrestling out of this show and now I’m really not sure what Nitro is supposed to be. At least it’s shorter now I guess.

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3 comments

  1. Heyo says:

    Fun fact: Flair was supposed to be the Commissioner on this Nitro, but he refused because it would mean getting beat down in front of his home crowd. So Funk got the spot instead.

  2. Jay H (the real one) says:

    Hence why I don’t think Russo has ever cared one bit about the In-Ring part of the Business. Speaking of Ric Flair where was he at this point? I know he comes back a month from now to feud with Hogan & Funk but where was he here? He might have been a better choice as Commish to feud with the nWo.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    They offered him the spot and he said no way, knowing that he would just get beaten down every week all over again.